Commentary

Buckle up for Page 2's Punter Rankings!

Originally Published: October 5, 2011
By Thomas Neumann | Page 2

Page 2 Punter RankingsESPN.com Illustration

We interrupt Page 2's Backup Quarterback Rankings for a diversion that bears even less significance -- if that's even possible.

Besides, with many teams beginning to tank the season in pursuit of Andrew Luck give playing time to young clipboard carriers, it's becoming increasingly difficult to tell starting quarterbacks apart from their backups.

Without further ado, we proudly present the inaugural edition of Page 2's Punter Rankings:


This season's backup quarterback rankings:
Sept. 14 | Sept. 21 | Sept. 28 | Oct. 5: punters | Oct. 12: long snappers | Oct. 19: referees


Last season's backup quarterback rankings:
Sept. 15 | Sept. 22 | Sept. 29 | Oct. 6 | BYE | Oct. 22 | Oct. 28 | Nov. 4 | INACTIVE | Nov. 18


1. Shane Lechler

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
9
0
9
8
26

Shane Lechler

Lechler holds the NFL record for career average at 47.5 yards per attempt. He's also the highest-paid punter in history, at more than $3 million per year. He's a six-time All-Pro selection. He also served as holder on the longest field goal attempt in NFL history.


2. Daniel Sepulveda

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
10
-1
8
8
25

Daniel Sepulveda

Sepulveda ranks No. 5 in the NFL this season in yards per attempt. During his college career at Baylor, Sepulveda became the only two-time winner of the Ray Guy Award. Still, we reach into the video universe for a better reason to rank him this high.


3. Chris Kluwe

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
5
0
6
10
21

Chris Kluwe

Kluwe, who owns no fewer than seven Vikings punting records, is a Renaissance man. He's a Guitar Hero master who transferred his talent into playing bass for Twin Cities band Tripping Icarus. On Twitter, he's witty, provocative ... and occasionally puzzling.


4. Andy Lee

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
7
-1
7
7
20

Andy Lee

Lee leads all NFL punters in net yards per attempt this season for the upstart 49ers. He's led the league in number of punts three times and in raw yardage twice. So it should come as no surprise he was feted as a hero in his hometown of Westminster, S.C.


5. Donnie Jones

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
7
-2
7
5
17

Donnie Jones

Jones ranks third among active players in career average at 45.5 yards per attempt. He also played at LSU, where he was on the field for the last play when the Tigers won the BCS title in January 2004. He then parlayed the experience into a book deal. Brilliant!


6. Pat McAfee

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
7
-5
5
7
14

Pat McAfee

McAfee was arrested for allegedly swimming in a canal while drunk last year. He was cleared of wrongdoing after completing an alcohol abuse program. Nevertheless, the budding late-night talk show host had awesome T-shirts made to mark the event.


7. Mike Scifres

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
0
0
9
3
12

Mike Scifies

Scifres is one of the best in the league at pinning opponents deep in their own territory. He even kicked a 40-yard field goal, meaning he's outscored Chris Johnson, Chad Ochocinco, Marques Colston and Antonio Gates combined through Week 4.


8. Ray Guy

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
6
-8
5
8
11

Ray Guy

Guy became the first punter selected in the first round of the NFL draft in 1973. He went on to play for three Super Bowl champions and was named to seven Pro Bowl squads. Guy would rank higher on this list, except that he never won the Ray Guy Award.


9. Zoltan Mesko

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
3
0
3
3
9

Zoltan Mesko

Don't confuse Mesko with wacky infomercial pitchman Matthew Lesko. If one's importance correlates to length of Wikipedia page -- doesn't it? -- then Mesko is a pivotal figure in history. To wit, his Wiki entry is longer than that of the Teapot Dome Scandal!


10. Dustin and Britton Colquitt

Team
Upside
Downside
Intangibles
Tangibles
"It" factor
Buzz
4
-8
9
3
8

Dustin, Britton Colquitt

Dustin and Britton carry the torch for the first family of punting. The brothers, who play for the Chiefs and Broncos, respectively, both played in college at Tennessee -- as did father Craig and uncle Jimmy. Craig played seven NFL seasons and won two Super Bowls with the Steelers. Jimmy played briefly with the Seahawks.


This season's backup quarterback rankings:
Sept. 14 | Sept. 21 | Sept. 28 | Oct. 5: punters | Oct. 12: long snappers | Oct. 19: referees


Last season's backup quarterback rankings:
Sept. 15 | Sept. 22 | Sept. 29 | Oct. 6 | BYE | Oct. 22 | Oct. 28 | Nov. 4 | INACTIVE | Nov. 18


Thomas Neumann is an editor for Page 2.


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